Eviction

questions & answers

Question: My husband and I own our house and let my brother stay with us after he lost his place to live a few months ago. He does not pay rent or any bills. He drinks and gets verbally aggressive/abusive and we want him out. We have 6 kids of our own we dont want him around anymore. He has been getting mail at our house now. No lease or written agreement was ever made. I thought he'd be out by now. He says we cant throw him out. If he has no lease and we own the home, why cant we throw him out?

Answer: The issue in this sort of situation is whether or not a rental agreement – written or verbal – exists between the owners of the home and the person who was invited to stay in the home. Under Arizona law, the presence or absence of a formal lease is not relevant (A.R.S. 33-1310). If the person who was invited to stay in the home (1) was offered that privilege as a guest and (2) has never provided the owners of the home with anything of value – the payment of some rent/utilities/household supplies/etc. – in exchange for the right to live in the home, then it is extremely unlikely that a court would find any reason to determine that the person who was invited to stay in the home is a tenant instead of a guest. If he is a guest in the home, then he has no legal right to remain there. If, however, he is a tenant, then the longest that he could continue to stay would be 30 days after he receives written notice from you of your intention to terminate the “rental agreement” at the end of the following month.

QUESTIONS

  • My husband and I own our house and let my brother stay with us after he lost his place to live a few months ago. He does not pay rent or any bills. He drinks and gets verbally aggressive/abusive and we want him out. We have 6 kids of our own we dont want him around anymore. He has been getting mail at our house now. No lease or written agreement was ever made. I thought he'd be out by now. He says we cant throw him out. If he has no lease and we own the home, why cant we throw him out?

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  • State Bar of Arizona
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